This afternoon, Apple notified us of a new self-service portal to add or edit local business listings: Apple Maps Connect. It’s intended for small business owners or their authorized representatives (though not agencies) to be able to quickly and easily add content directly into Apple Maps.
The service is free and the listings (or corrected listings) appear on Apple Maps on the PC and in mobile. All users sign in with their Apple IDs and passwords. If you don’t have an Apple ID you have to create one.
Below are my screen captures showing the sign-up flow:
As the screen grab above indicates, verification is in real time. Users receive an automated call with a code that’s entered into the Maps Connect site. Businesses can also verify later or, I was told, using an email address that’s the same as its website URL.
Updates or new listings will show up within a week or could show up more quickly depending on the situation and whether the listing was flagged and/or there’s additional verification required. Beyond this, Apple has additional fraud prevention measures in place but didn’t discuss them extensively.
Right now, webmasters or outside agencies would have difficulty using this tool for multiple clients. But Apple will no doubt receive a lot of feedback as more people become aware and try to use the system.
Apple is also soliciting interest in installing iBeacon at business locations through the Maps Connect site. However, the criteria below show Apple’s target business profile for priority installation.
Postscript: Apple confirmed that for now this is U.S. only, but the company said that additional countries will be added “soon.”
The post Apple Launches “Maps Connect” Self-Service Local Listings Portal appeared first on Search Engine Land.